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Barack Did Great, McCain Okay But Angry

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I thought Barack was terrific -- strong, clear, knowledgeable. I thought McCain, to be fair, showed some of his knowledge in a good way. But he's too old, he's from the 20th century, the country doesn't need him now.

Plus I thought in some ways McCain lost the debate on his face, the way his face turned red and an uncomfortable smile came on him that seemed to cover a lot of anger. This happened many times in the debate; the first one may have been when Barack said strongly but without nastiness that McCain couldn't pretend to be disconnected from the catastrophic economy or the enormous deficits when he had voted 90% of the time with Bush and had voted for every Bush budget. Forced to be quiet while Barack went through his pro-Bush voting record, McCain looked like an angry poached egg, who wanted to scream at him.

I was relieved by Barack's energy and strength and, yes, passion to win tonight. The last few times I've seen him be interviewed ad hoc he answers with many hestitations and "uh's"... he's choosing his words carefully, and that's good for governing. But for reaching voters and for winning a campaign, he needed to show more passion and energy -- and he did that tonight.

I loved his ability, most of the time, to correct McCain's misleading use of "facts" that aren't facts -- best example, McCain said he couldn't believe that Barack Obama actually voted NOT to give the troops the money they needed.

And Barack came back with that McCain did the same thing: McCain voted against a bill to fund the troops because there was a timeline for withdrawal; and Barack voted against a bill to fund the troops because there was NO timeline for withdrawal, which meant giving Bush a blank check. So they were voting for and against timetables. And of course the eventual bill DID fund the troops. So it's a slander to say that EITHER ONE of them voted against funding the troops. And it was McCain who made the slander.

Another one he made that Obama didn't have the time to correct was when McCain said that Obama voted to raise taxes on people who make $42,000... something his ads say repeatedly in the battle states. (I live in one of them, Pennsylvania.) I did a whole piece on that McCain lie... here's a link.

Another interesting part I thought was when McCain talked for what seemed like 3 hours on his wanting to stand against earmarks (pork barrel spending). Yes, fine and dandy. And this was in answer to how to save money in the government. McCain said earmarks came to 18 billion. Obama agreed that earmarks are not good (though sometimes they can be), but pointed out that the earmarks come to 18 billion, while the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that McCain wants to keep come to 300 billion. McCain's face turned very red and angry during that.

I thought Obama was very good. McCain drove me crazy. Of course, I'm a liberal. But really McCain seems stuck in his behavior, and erratic. And plus I've seen the Katie Couric interviews with Sarah Palin, and his choosing her as his vice president on what must have been an adrenaline rush hunch -- with the strong possibility given his age and medical history that she could find herself suddenly in the Oval Office -- well, his choosing her ends up being a kind of F--k you to America. Country first, that's a big laugh given that choice, Senator McCain.

I hope people want to vote for Barack Obama who is the future. And he is also right on another point -- when we reclaim our honor in the world stage, that will help us with needed cooperation among allies to make us safer. And he's definitely the man to do that.

And I hope people won't vote for the angry poached egg.

Read more reactions to the first presidential debate from HuffPost bloggers, including Nora Ephron, Bob Shrum, Madeleine Albright, Paul Reiser, Arianna Huffington, Sean Penn, Sheryl Crow, and more.